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Navjot Sidhu wins, Vinod Khanna loses in Punjab

National,Politics, Sat, 16 May 2009 IANS

Chandigarh, May 16 (IANS) Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retained his Amritsar Lok Sabha seat even as party colleague and actor Vinod Khanna lost from the adjoining Gurdaspur in Punjab Saturday.


The chirpy Sidhu, who has been judging TV laughter challenge shows in recent years, was not exactly laughing his way to victory as he managed to win with a margin of just 7,332 votes over his Congress rival Om Prakash Soni.



Sidhu had won the seat in the 2004 general elections by a margin of nearly 110,000 votes.



Congress supporters protested against the authorities in Amritsar, alleging that the result was fudged to favour Sidhu. The BJP leader had trailed Soni for the most part of the day.



Vinod Khanna could not retain the Gurdaspur seat for the fourth time as he was defeated by former Punjab minister Pratap Singh Bajwa of the Congress by 8,359 votes.



The Election Commission finally declared Santosh Chaudhary of the Congress as the winner on the Hoshiarpur (reserved) seat by a slender margin of 291 votes after a snag in an electronic voting machine (EVM) delayed the declaration of the result of this seat for several hours.



For the Anandpur Sahib seat, Punjab Youth Congress President Ravneet Sigh Bittu defeated Daljeet Singh Cheema of the state's ruling Akali Dal by over 66,000 votes.



Out of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, the Congress won eight while the ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance won five.



The Akalis won four out of these seats, including the crucial Bathinda seat where Harsimrat Kaur, wife of Akali Dal president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal defeated Raninder Singh, son of former Congress chief minister Amarinder Singh, by a margin of over 120,000 votes.



The Akali Dal-BJP combine had won 11 seats in the 2004 general elections while the Congress had only two seats.


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